FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Diego Fagundez had to wait until the 10th game of the season to score his first goal of the 2014 campaign. He had to wait just 12 minutes to score his second.
With his first-half double in Sunday night’s 5-0 victory over Seattle Sounders FC, Fagundez became the youngest player in New England Revolution history to score two goals in a game. At 19 years and 87 days old, he bested the mark previously set by Jamar Beasley (20 years, 243 days) by more than a year.
Fagundez’s second goal – one of five nominees for MLS goal of the week – was the cherry on top of a scintillating first-half performance, but it was his first strike which seemed to lift the metaphorical weight off his shoulders. After leading the Revs with 13 goals last season, Fagundez readily admits he’d been anxious to get off the mark in 2014.
“It’s a relief for me because I’ve been waiting for this one for a while,” he said. “Hopefully now I can bang some in because I’ve been working towards this one a long time.”
In recent weeks, Fagundez has earned praise for his contributions beyond goal-scoring; his vision and movement create opportunities for his teammates, while he works hard to fulfill his defensive responsibilities. Even without goals, Fagundez can – and did – help the Revs win games.
But the youngster’s finishing ability remained unquestioned, even throughout an early-season dry spell. Head coach Jay Heaps noted that Fagundez continued to convert his chances in training, meaning it was only a matter of time before it came together on the weekend.
“I think Diego’s been working really hard,” Heaps said. “He trains extremely hard, so I see those finishes quite a bit. They just hadn’t come in a big game yet. I think you saw tonight what kind of class he has.”
Fagundez’s confidence was soaring on Sunday and he continued to push forward in search of goals even after bagging his first two of the season. While a first career hat trick will have to wait, Fagundez was thrilled simply to put his name back on the score sheet, particularly in a winning effort.
“I thought I was going to get a third one, but sometimes it doesn’t happen and that’s okay,” Fagundez said. “We got three points and that’s the number one thing right now.”